The University Grants Commission (UGC) has commissioned universities and colleges to ensure the establishment of the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) and a special cell to address gender-based violence and implement gender awareness programs. The varsities are instructed to complete the online gender audit compliance on SAKSHAM portal and update the affiliated colleges about the same.
The ICCs will operate under the regulations of the Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women Employees and Students in Higher Education Institution (UGC) regulations, 2015. In a previous notification, UGC had asked several departments to appoint “Gender Champions ‘ to assure. ‘ among students who would lead the way in making campuses more gender inclusive.
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These ‘Gender Champions’ can be boys and girls from the age of 16, enrolled in educational institutions. Their primary role will be to provide an environment within their educational institution where girls are treated with respect and dignity, read the UGC statement.
The guidelines require them to mainstream gender equality through poster competitions and group discussion debates, identify and address gender gaps in the classroom, and organize awareness programs such as workshops, theme-based plays, painting contests and films.
UGC had also asked varsities to set up women’s helplines, police and hospital helplines in various settings, and to organize exposure visits to villages, blocks, districts and cities to facilitate gender equality awareness.
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The Gender Champions are appointed by the head of the educational institution in consultation with student representatives after assessing the candidates for their “intelligence, decisiveness and honesty”.
The educational institutions would also appoint nodal teachers to oversee and facilitate the functioning of Gander champions. The selected teacher participates in all meetings organized by Gender Champions and also collects quarterly reports from the Gender Champions, assesses them and sends them to the head of the institution. The Gender Champion receives a certificate of appreciation for their efforts to promote gender sensitivity on campus.
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